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I am beginning to complete a body and paint restoration on my 1970 Fastback. I was wanting to strip the old paint myself. How hard would this be and where and what do I need to get started. The body shops want over $2K just to get the car stripped, that is no body work at all.

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I stripped thirty years and three layers of paint off of my 70 Mach1 by using both chemical and media blasting. I used a pressurized blaster that I bought from TIP (around $350 at the time) and did all the body componetnts that could be removed,hood,doors,valances etc. I used chemical stripper on the roof,rockers etc..only because the body was apart and on jack stands. Chemical is work,but it does the job.However you must be certain to remove all the remaining stripper to prevent problems with the primers in the future. The stripper problems are in the pinch welds and other nooks.
Good luck
 
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If you have someone in the area that will bead blast it, usually that can be done for $400-$600 if you remove all the chrome yourself.

If not, you can use aircraft stripper, razor blade holder and a DA with 80 grit sand paper and strip it all yourself. Plan on spending a couple of weeks on it if you go this route.

First thing is to remove all the trim, bumpers, etc.
Later,

Doug

[color:blue]66 Mustang Coupe 206ci</font color=blue>
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I've stripped a couple of cars over the years and understand that they have some new and improved products since then. One thing remains constant though; Thick rubber gloves (lots of them) and definitely an aspirator as that stuff'll get you higher than a kite. We slopped the stuff on with a thick brush, let it sit a while then removed it with scotch-brite or rinsed it off on thinner areas. You will understand afterwards why the shop wants so much money to do the job. It's nasty!
Have the millage (paint thickness) checked first. They should do that for free; just takes a few seconds. If you dont have too many layers of paint you may not need the process at this point.
 

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I believe stripping to bare metal should be a last resort decision. I'm convinced the baked on factory finish offers a whole lot more adhesion potential for new paint than bare metal, even if all the normal bare metal prep processes are done. Another plus, is that minor body/paint imperfections can be eliminated while block sanding/preping the old paint without resorting to fillers. If the car has been repainted a number of times, there may not be a lot of choice in the matter, but it's worth considering.

Chemical stripping works but can be a bit messy and the stripper generally is highly caustic. Wear protection! And, make 200% sure all the stripper is removed from every nook & cranny before the first drop of new finish is applied.

Plastic media blasting, also highly effective has its down side. It tends to blow the removal media into every void in the car. A point usually discovered during the initial painting process as the spray gun stirs the residue/dust up all over the new paint. You'll find new words to descibe your unhappiness when that happens.

65 Hi-Po F/B (7 yr resto)
67 GTA F/B (small block) Mustang Owners Club of Austin (MOCA), TX
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If the paint is good and hard, use a razor blade holder and single-edge blades. I stripped 80% of a Datsun 240Z with the blades alone, and finished off with a D/A and sanding blocks. I didn't have to worry about 1) chemical effects to plastics and rubbers, 2) streching the metal with blasting or 3) a bunch of media stuck in EVERYTHING.

'66 A-code Fastback (therapy)
'89 Town Car (SWMBO D'driver)
'87 Caprice (as req'd by Hagerty)
 

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Stripping is a messy job. Don't get it on any rubber or plastic. Don't do it unless you have to. If you do, you'll have to re-do any bondo on the car, because the stripper will weaken it.
Take your time when stripping. Let the stripper do the work. It'll take at least 1 coat of stripper for each coat of paint, maybe more if the paint is thick. After you get to the metal, sand to remove all leftover paint. You'll also have scratch marks from the scraper which will need more sanding or a bit of body filler. Which is another down side to stripping. Sand with 80, then 120, then 220. The metal will then need to be throughly cleaned with a metal treatment. No stripper residue should be left, or the primer & paint will not dry correctly & molt
Stripping is a major job. But you can do it if you take your time. Good luck!

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I've tried just about everything out there and I found a 9" polisher that can go low speed (1000 rpm) with a good quality 80 grit disc does a great job and fast too. Plus, the 80 grit scuff is just right for any filler to grab onto. Just stay off the body lines and corners for obvious reasons. You could probably strip a car in a day using maybe 10 discs. Take it from the voice of experience, DON'T buy cheapo abrasives. They cost you more $$ and time in the long run.

Len Stuart has a great website for autobody & paint info at <www.autobodystore.com> They have a great discussion forum as well. You can get everything you need from him. I trust advice from guys that have done this work for many years. Check it out.

If you buy a good polisher and set up for discs you'd probably be into it $300 tops and think you'll have a polisher to buff out your new paint job when it's done.

Good luck

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by skidlybo on 03/18/01 10:19 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
 
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